2021 saw interesting trends in community organisation. Like-minded people congregated all over the world in new ways, online and offline. Notably the popularity of DAOs were a propellent in bringing people together in safe and trusted environments. We also saw action offline — albeit small the emigration of many of Silicon Valley’s tech scene from San Fran to Miami is a great example.
Recognising reality is as much our job as supporting our founders and there’s something interesting happening in how communities are coming together. For crypto and NFT projects, Discord has become a home for many to communicate ideas and organise themselves around them — I highly recommend this ep on the role of community in the evolution of Bored Ape Club.
Online communication tools were being used by many companies even before the pandemic started. Cloud-based infrastructure began the digital exodus to online collaborative work-flows a decade ago — working together online isn’t new. More recently, work-from-home tools have been widely mobilised and highly utilised.
However, 86% of respondents in Culture Wizard’s survey indicate communication for virtual teams remains a problem. There is a need for more effective communication and collaborative tools and an improvement in existing ones to support teams. What excites me most is the opportunity to build a communication platform to match the cultural shift in how communities and groups of people are now organising themselves.
Current tools are vertically focused
“We’re trying to build for virtual communication what Notion allows for note-taking.”
Existing communication platforms have their own share of waterloos. Many are vertical solutions that focus exclusively on use cases i.e. video conferences (Gmeet & Zoom), items-listing (Trello), some just for quick chats (Slack Huddles) and more. Orbital’s vision to build a virtual communication framework allowing groups and communities to customise their ‘galaxies’ based on their unique identity is positively insane. They’re building for virtual communication what Notion allows for note-taking.
Orbital’s modular-first approach allows video conferences, hanging out all day, quick chats, items listing, brain-storming and more as drag and drop modules within Orbital. Education institutions, teams, social groups and many more communities have already created their own galaxies, soon communities all over the world will have a one-of-a-kind virtual experience with Orbital.
No, Orbital isn’t the first
Although there are solutions in the market and capitalised competitors, we back Ashley’s vision to build a framework, which is an important nuance. As previous Founders we understand the importance of the vision of Founders which ultimately steer the direction of the product. It’s her vision for us! Orbital are building infrastructure for vertical tools like Miro, offering drag and drop customisability- hence, it’s greatest hook.
We always over-index on founders and Ashley is no exception. Leveraging her senior product experience, she’s driving a true community built product, just take a look at her Twitter.
Orbital is at the confluence of several trends for example audio trends, Zoom fatigue, community organisation shifts, online identity, metaverse and more. We’re excited to be backing Ashley and the team at Pre-seed and Seed.
We’re always on the lookout for Founders building exciting start-ups. We’re a sector agnostic fund investing in all models with a mandate to invest in digital and software led start-ups from our SEIS funds at mainly Pre-seed but also Seed. If you’re a product-led Founder interested in having exited-Founders on board, we would love to hear from you: https://haatch.com/pitch/